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The Easter Bunny!
25 March 2016
A figure from folklore and a symbol of Easter, the Easter bunny is usually depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. There are many different stories about how the Easter Bunny came about, one of which is that the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German Lutherans who settled in Pennsylvania, and took with them their tradition of an ‘egg-laying hare’ called Osterhase or Oschter Haws.
The Easter Bunny originally played a similar role to Santa Claus, deciding whether children were good or naughty at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes and carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children.
Keeping Your Pets Safe Over Easter
The Easter break can be a great time for family fun and of course a traditional Easter Egg hunt. Whilst this is a great time to have some fun we must take care of our pets and avoid any hazards to your pet this Easter
Chocolate is not only toxic to dogs but also cats, rodents and rabbits. The toxic component in chocolate is a substance called theobromine. The severity of the poisoning depends on the amount and the type of chocolate consumed. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate and white chocolate is relatively non-toxic. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity and a rapid heart rate. In extreme cases convulsions (seizures) can occur, and liver damage may develop in the longer term. If you are organising an Easter egg hunt be sure to keep your pets away from the hidden chocolate to ensure that is not ingested.
Plastic Eggs and Easter Toys
Easter toys and plastic fillable eggs that can be used for Easter egg hunts can look very appealing to dogs and can be mistaken for dog toys. These items can become a hazard if chewed, potentially becoming stuck in the oesophagus or the intestine, which may result in emergency surgery. Keep track of all the items you hide during your hunt and make sure they are all accounted for at the end.
Daffodils and other spring Bulbs are also toxic, they contain alkaloids and calcium oxalate, both of which can be an irritant when ingested, and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and very rarely more serious symptoms like collapse. Take care to make sure when planting bulbs that your pet does not ingest them and avoid ingestion of plants when they are flowering in the spring.
Lilies although beautiful can be deadly for cats. Most species of lily are toxic as they cause the kidneys to fail. All parts of the plant are toxic. Cats do not commonly eat poisonous things but will occasionally chew on plants, including lilies, in the home and garden (just as they eat grass in the garden). The cat will usually be sick and then become depressed and extremely ill rather quickly. If you are given lilies as a gift, make sure you put them where your cat can’t get at them and won’t be dusted by the pollen.
For further information see our Poisons and Household Dangers Information Sheet